Brilliant Camelot Takes Two Thousand Guineas

Coolmore-based son of Montjeu tops French Fifteen in Newmarket classic May 5.

Aidan O’Brien-trained Camelot took the lead in the final furlong and then held off the late challenge of French Fifteen to win the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) by a neck at Newmarket May 5.

The 3-year-old son of Montjeu, making his first start of the year in the Guineas, remains undefeated in three career starts. He is owned by Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, and Michael Tabor

A field of 18 sophomores went to the post in the Guineas, with Camelot going off as the heavy favorite.

Ridden confidently by O’Brien’s son, Joseph, Camelot was settled toward the back of the pack nearest the stands’ side rail as the runners split into three separate groups. Longshot Talwar was the overall leader, showing the way through the early stages of the race, as the three groups spread out the width of the Rowley Mile.

With just over two furlongs left to run the leaders were fading and both Camelot and French Fifteen began to make their bids. French Fifteen, under Olivier Peslier, was the first to hit the front, overtaking the frontrunners with a just over a furlong left to race.

O’Brien had Camelot under a drive, and the pair drew alongside French Fifteen, matching strides briefly until Camelot pulled away for the victory.

Hermival got up for third, finishing 2 ¼-lengths behind French Fifteen. Final time for the eight furlongs was 1:42.46 over a course listed as good to soft.

It was the sixth Two Thousand Guineas victory for trainer O’Brien, who said after the race, “It’s one of those unbelievable days. We knew from the statistics that Camelot had a lot against him, we knew he had a lot to overcome but we always thought he was very special.”

Regarding the colt’s future plans O’Brien said, “We have lots to look forward to, and we’ll take it one race at a time.”

The Guineas winner was bred in England by Sheikh Abdulla bin Isa Al-Khalifa. He is the second foal out of Tarfah, a daughter of Kingmambo who captured the 2005 Dahlia Stakes (Eng-III).